Until this year, I had never really failed at anything. I was always pretty good at most of the stuff that I did and the few things I wasn’t good at (all sports, for example) I decided weren’t for me and I moved on to other more interesting things.
In school and in all of the other extra things I chose to pursue, I always worked moderately hard, and had very good results.
In contrast, with teaching, I work EXTREMELY hard, and have very poor results. Usually I can’t get my class to shut-up long enough to hear a simple direction for how to do an activity, let alone actually get them to learn something from the activity. In some of my evaluations by my supervisor in my certification program, I have been getting zeros (on a scale of 0-4) in some categories…..notably, classroom culture.
Never before have I ever been so unsuccessful at anything, particular something that I am working VERY hard on. This is an interesting experience, albeit extremely frustrating that I am not doing a better job of teaching my students.
In a sad twist of irony, this actually helps me understand some of my students a bit better. I don’t know what it feels like to fail continuously all day every day every year (some of my students do), but having this experience of failure at least gives me some insight into what my students in that situation might be thinking or feeling….